Welcome to the 1,199th edition of Loading...
Loading... is the premier daily MMORPG news, coverage, and
commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.
November used to be the month of MMO expansions, now it seems like every developer is angling for their own spot on a crowded release date calendar. What's behind a mostly expac-less month this year? Is December the new November? Thoughts on this topic, plus links to Brad McQuaid and Star Trek Online interviews you don't want to miss in today's Loading... Expansion Month?
target="_blank">World of Warcraft
& Dragons Online (UP 1)
of the Rings Online (down 1)
- EverQuest 2
- Age of Conan (UP 1)
Biggest movers today:
Welcome to November, which is Pancreatic, Diabetes, Lung Cancer, Alzheimer's, and Crohn's Disease Awareness Month, as well as National Novel Writing Month (it's a short month so we'd better get started), and the month that the Roman Catholic church as dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Perhaps that last one was why, once upon a time, MMO gamers used to view November as "expansion month." Containing the launch date anniversary of EverQuest, EverQuest 2, and World of Warcraft, for a time developers made a habit of throwing their titles a birthday party with retail expansions. Other games, like Dark Age of Camelot, regularly followed suit with November expansions, and Lord of the Rings Online got in on the action with a November release of Mines of Moria last year.
November release dates made sense for a few reasons - it's the holiday season, and what better gift for the gamer in your life than more loot, levels and replayability? November also has that most coveted of gamer possessions - a built-in long holiday weekend. I remember picking up a few EQ expansions before heading home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday - what better way to spend a post-gluttenous stupor than in Velious? Plus, the majority of highly anticipated PC and console titles ship by early November (DragonAge and CoD Modern Combat 2 will round out this year's offerings by Nov. 10th), leaving the more introverted MMO titles with a brief window for marketing impact.
But Blizzard broke the anniversary tradition with a January release of Burning Crusade, and this year Turbine and SOE elected to launch expansion later in the season. LotRO: Siege of Mirkwood, EverQuest: Underfoot, and EVE Online: Dominion are slated to launch in December and EverQuest 2: Sentinel's Fate has been given a fuzzy date of February 2010. The other Pulse Top 10 expansions on the radar, Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, haven't set a release date at this time.
Why the de-Novemberization of MMO retail expansions? With already thin profit margins and blistering expectations from players and investors, it's entirely possible that MMO developers and marketeers found it too hot in the holiday ramp-up kitchen. Pre-orders and account-based download only expansions complicated the mix for non-gamer gift-givers, taking some of the holiday-ness out of expansions. But the simplest explanation is probably the best one - once the industry lost its rhythm, once there was no reason for a November push, everyone opted for what they saw as a clear spot on the marketing schedule. The danger is that MMOs, on the whole, might lose ground against "less online" games in the battle for your gaming time and dollar
Do you miss the days of regular November expansions? Are you playing more non-MMO games this holiday season than you did a year or two years ago? Sound off in the Loading... forums!
Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
From our Articles, News & Events Discussion forum
Fallout MMOG Project V13 - Concept Art
be damned, Interplay has released some concept art from the Fallout V13
MMOG. How are gamers receiving the idea of a Fallout MMOG? Opinions
seem to vary, as the epic quotes below demonstrate. Head over to our
news forum to view the concept art and have your say.
Awesome Quotes from the
"No good can come of this."
"They have Masthead Studios working with them on it. Shouldn't be hard
for them to produce something pretty amazing as Earthrise sounds like
it is going to be excellent."
Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell
5 New Ten Ton Hammer MMOG
features today! 5 in November! 2,077
New Features & Guides
Managing Fan Expectations - An Interview with Vanguard Visionary Brad McQuaid
inevitable--as any MMOG nears launch, excitement builds to a fever
pitch and message boards, from official forums to fansites to network
communities like Ten Ton Hammer, buzz with activity. But hype for a
game about to launch can lead to an almost inevitable crash when
expectations meet reality. Brad McQuaid, the man behind EverQuest and
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, has learned a thing or two, sometimes the
hard way, about keeping fan expectations in check. In one of the first
interviews with him since the launch of Vanguard, McQuaid speaks
candidly about fan expectations, and shares his thoughts about how to
keep them in line.
Star Trek Online Space Combat Q&A with Exec. Producer Craig
The excitement continues to build as Star Trek Online entered closed beta less
than two weeks ago. For part one of a two-part series on space and ground combat
in Star Trek Online, Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich stopped by to
specifically discuss how ship-to-ship combat plays out in the final frontier.
What role will ship type, speed, maneuverability, and tactics play in battle,
and can your friends join in your encounter or instance at any time? As
importantly, how will Star Trek Online preserve the "bridge drama" and
atmosphere that has made Star Trek space combat so compelling for generations?
Answers to these questions and more in our latest Star Trek Online space combat
Q&A with Craig Zinkievich.
DOFUS 2.0 Beta Key Giveaway
NOTE - Ten Ton Hammer Premium Members only until late Monday, midnight US Eastern. More
than four years after its release, Ankama reaches another milestone
with DOFUS - the subscription-based isometric perspective MMORPG. DOFUS
2.0 is a complete rewrite of the award-winning free-to-play MMO,
including all-new graphics and a client rewritten from scratch.
December 2nd is the official release date for the new version, but Ten
Ton Hammer viewers can experience the DOFUS 2.0 beta starting now!
DDO Unlimited Necropolis Screenshots
Necropolis adventure pack is available through the Dungeons &
Dragons: Eberron Unlimited store, and it's a doozy. The adventure pack
comes in four parts, ranging for adventurers levels 5-6, 8-9, 11-12 and
14-17. Depending on which part you select to do, the Silver Flame and
Emerald Claw will send you to various areas to uncover the story. Today
we have five screenshots to give you a little taste as to what awaits.
EVE Online – Ten Tips to Go From Noob to Noobtastic
can be argued that EVE Online has more depth and complexity than any
MMOG on the market today. The game’s learning curve has at times been
compared to an outwardly curving cliff face laced with deadly
obstacles. Fear not though, true believers, because Eric “Dalmarus”
Campbell has come up with a list of ten tips to help get you on your
- Managing Fan Expectations - An Interview with Vanguard Visionary Brad McQuaid
- Star Trek Online Space Combat Q&A with Craig Zinkievich
Cleric's Guide to Healing in Aion
of the Rings Online - Siege of Mirkwood Live Preview
- DOFUS 2.0 Beta Key Giveaway
- href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/76238 ">EVE Online – Ten Tips to Go From Noob to Noobtastic
Online : Nemesis Basics
of the Solar Spymaster #30 - Dominion Post-FanFest
Agenda: Conquest and Pricing Interview
Thanks for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!
- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and the Ten Ton Hammer
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.